National Fisherman

The Rudderpost 

jesJes Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman magazine and


Florida longliner Solomon Rodney thought he had a pretty cool find on one of his grouper hooks late last month: an 8-foot missile.

He fixed the missile to his boat, the Bold Venture, where it proudly rode the waves for the remaining 10 days of his trip.

The problem, as the bomb squad at MacDill Air Force Base sees it, is this missile wasn't just cool; it was hot.
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Yesterday, famed fishing captain Linda Greenlaw was convicted in a Canadian court for crossing the international boundary and fishing illegally in Canadian waters.

According to various reports, Greenlaw claims her longline gear had been snagged by another boat and dragged about five miles across the Hague Line.
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This is a perfect late spring meal, because it's hearty, but lightened with spring vegetables and delicious halibut.

My favorite way to cook and eat halibut is grilled with a touch of olive oil, salt and pepper. It doesn't need much adornment.

This meal works best with a grill cook and a stove-top cook, because you can't leave your risotto unattended while it cooks, and you definitely don't want it to sit around long after it's done.

We have long winters here in Maine, so we have a small gas grill right outside the kitchen door that allows us to grill year-round. It also comes in handy for meals like this!


1 1/2 to 2 pounds halibut fillets
Olive oil
1 small sweet onion (or 1/2 leek*), chopped
1 cup arborio rice
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (or 1/2 cup white wine and 3 1/2 cups broth)
2-4 strands saffron
1 cup sugar snap peas, chopped (or fresh peas, shelled)
1 bunch asparagus, stems trimmed (about a pound)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
Optional garnishes: parsley and scallions

Season and oil your fish and asparagus so they are ready for the grill.

Put a medium, heavy-bottom saucepan on medium heat and add a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Once it's warm, add your onions and cook until translucent. If the pan is dry, add more oil, then add the arborio. Stir and cook the rice until its edges are translucent. Toss in your saffron and some salt and pepper.

Add half a cup of chicken broth or the white wine. Cook, stirring, until the pan is almost dry. Adjust the heat so you're cooking the risotto at a simmer.

Add the chicken broth half a cup at a time, stirring as it cooks. About 15 minutes into the risotto cooking, have the grill cook start the asparagus and halibut.

When the asparagus is off the grill, chop it into 1/2-inch pieces and add it and the peas to the risotto right after you add the last 1/2 cup of chicken broth.

When the risotto is close to the consistency you want, add the parmesan and salt and pepper to taste.

Serve in bowls with slices of the halibut on top. Garnish with chopped parsley and/or scallions and a hearty squeeze of fresh lemon. Serves four.

* If you use a leek, it's easiest to clean it after it's chopped. There are lots of places for dirt to hide in leek leaves, and you don't want a gritty risotto.

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I guess the EU ban on seal products is supposed to indicate that we've evolved somehow.

The ban is a political move intended to force Canada to do away with its annual seal hunt, which apparently the parliamentarians view as barbaric. But it all reeks of pretension to me.
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CatchCon was a boatload of fun! Discovery Channel held the first event designed for "Deadliest Catch" fans in Seattle the last weekend in April.

Fans were ushered between games, boat tours, autograph sessions, U.S. Coast Guard drills and panel discussions. They hammed it up with the captains and crew, took pictures and had as much "Deadliest Catch" fun as you can have on land. 

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I got a press release in my inbox today touting a certain brand of tilapia that will be featured in an upcoming agriculture report on aquaculture.

Sometimes I have to wonder how I get on these lists (glorifying aquaculture is not in our prime directive at National Fisherman); nonetheless, I'm happy to be informed of the marketing techniques of aquaculture companies. It keeps me apprised on how the other half lives.
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It seems like everywhere I look there are glimmers of hope for East Coast fishermen.

The beleaguered New England groundfish fleet was the first order of business for Dr. Jane Lubchenco, NOAA's new director. That she comes from the West Coast, which is undergoing massive salmon closures for the second year running, certainly speaks to the fact that the urgency of the situation in New England is coming across loud and clear.
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The Alaska Department of Fish & Game declared recently that pristine Alaska salmon does not need external certification of sustainability (or the price tag that comes with it).

Guess who disagrees? If you said the Marine Stewardship Council, you get a pat on the back (or an aspirin if you have the same headache I do).
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Jim Clements submitted this prologue and epilogue to a longlining poem by a barefoot fisherman from Carrabelle, Fla., who wants no credit.

The National Marine Fisheries Service has received petitions and threats of suit from several environmental organizations to prohibit reef fish bottom longlining inside 55 fathoms to protect loggerhead turtles. They say longliners are exceeding loggerhead turtle takes allowed by the federal government.
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After the tragic sinking of the Lady Mary off the New Jersey coast Tuesday morning, the NTSB has announced the agency will be investigating the incident along with the Coast Guard.

Of seven crew members on the scallop boat, only Jose Arias survived. According to the Press of Atlantic City, Arias slept next to his survival suit and put it on as soon as he awoke at 5 a.m. with the feeling that something was wrong on the boat.
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Page 31 of 35

Inside the Industry

NMFS has awarded 16 grants totaling more than $2.5 million as part of its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.

The program supports the development of technological solutions and changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch and aims to to find creative approaches and strategies for reducing bycatch, seabird interactions, and post-release mortality in federally managed fisheries.


Abe Williams, who was elected to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board last spring, has been selected as the new president as of September.

Williams fishes the F/V Crimson Fury, and is president of Nuna Resources, a nonprofit that supports sustainable resource development in rural Alaska, including fighting for an international solution to issues raised by the proposed Pebble Mine project.

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